[translation] Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi ~ Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai 6, Ch. 11 part 1080
Type: Novel Translation
Title: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai 6
Series: Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi
Author/Circle: Nakamura Shungiku, Fujisaki Miyako
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Notes: You can also view the book in-progress on Pressbooks for what’s likely a more pleasant reading experience!
This time: Yokozawa and Hiyori talk about his feelings regarding Oosaki-sensei, and Yokozawa gives his own feelings some thought as well.
Chapter 11 (cont.)
They parted ways with Kirishima and Oosaki once again, heading for the parking lot. The tiny body clinging to Yokozawa’s back was warm but weak, and he was reminded anew that while she could go toe to toe with adults at times, Hiyori was still a child.
“Am I heavy, Oniichan?”
“Not at all; you’re light as a feather. You don’t have to worry about me—you’re the sick one, here. Actually, you can be even more demanding if you like. Like earlier, you really did want to see the exhibits with four dad, didn’t you?”
“I couldn’t ask that. Dad’s so busy with work…”
As he’d suspected, she had indeed held herself back today out of consideration for Kirishima’s position. “Then tell me instead. If your dad and I take on half the load each, I’m sure we can give you what you’d like.”
“But—you’re really busy right now too, aren’t you?”
“I suppose, but it’s the fact that I get to see you and Sorata on the weekends that keeps me going strong. Don’t you think I deserve to be able to give a little back? I’m sure your dad feels the same way.”
“Absolutely,” he affirmed easily, and a smile blossomed over Hiyori’s face. Then, realizing that now was the time to ask, if he truly wanted to hear her thoughts, he continued, “…Hey, Hiyo? Did that lady from before make you feel uncomfortable?”
Hiyori had been uncharacteristically shy all day today, and Yokozawa suspected she just wasn’t very good at dealing with Oosaki’s type. He’d never seen her acting this nervous around her friends’ mothers or neighbors, so it was unlikely that she was bad at dealing with adult women in general.
Naturally, she’d never say as such herself—which was why Yokozawa asked. Plus, if Kirishima had been around, she wouldn’t speak her heart, worried she’d just cause her father undue trouble.
“…Yeah, a little…”
“You don’t see her sort that often. You didn’t know how to handle her, did you?” He kept his tone light, to keep her from getting too serious about the matter.
“That was part of the reason, yeah, but—I just got a bad feeling. It was my first time meeting her, though; it’s weird of me to feel that way, isn’t it?”
She never spoke badly about anyone, so the fact that she was voicing such negative opinions on Oosaki now suggested that she’d been jealous of the author, in a way.
“Not at all; your gut rarely fails you. Maybe you and Oosaki-sensei’s personalities just don’t click. I’m sure you have some classmates that, while you don’t dislike them, you just don’t get along, right?”
“Yeah, a few.” It seemed that, on top of wanting to give her father some space today, she’d been struggling with guilt over her negative emotions as well.
While Yokozawa envied her pure, innocent feelings, he felt obligated as the same time to offer some advice as an adult: “While it would be nice if everyone could get along happily, you’re gonna encounter a lot of people throughout your life life, so what does it really hurt if one or two of them aren’t your type? You just need to learn to avoid them.”
“If you never have to see them, then you’ll never have to deal with the feeling that you don’t like them.”
Once she started her career, there would be times that she’d have to work with people she didn’t get along with, but by the time she reached that age, Hiyori would hopefully be able to deal with them appropriately.
“Though I’m a terrible example—I tend to confront those types head-on.”
“You’re not a bad example!”
“You think? That does make me feel better, knowing you feel that way. Look—we’re here. Want to lay the passenger seat down flat so you can lie down?”
“No, I’d rather ride in the back.”
He let Hiyori slide from his back, then pulled out the remote key Kirishima had given him and unlocked the doors. “Want me to go get you some water?”
“No, I’ll be fine. My stomach stopped hurting when I started talking to you.”
“You sure? You’re not pushing yourself?”
“Yeah, I feel better now, really.”
“Then put this on, at least—it won’t do for you to catch a chill.” He tugged off his pullover, laying it over her body.
“Thank you, Oniichan.”
“You’re quite welcome.”
Perhaps stress had been the cause of her stomachache—that happened fairly often with kids. If Hiyori’s mood lightened even the slightest bit by speaking with Yokozawa, though, then he was glad to have been of aid.
Her expression, however, suggested that she was still worried over something. Yokozawa slid in next to her, waiting patiently for her to break the ice.
“That lady…she’s not gonna be my new mom, is she?”
“?! Ah—no, no I…don’t think so.” The sudden question had given him a start. He’d intended to be here to help Hiyori settle her feelings, but now he was the one feeling disoriented. Apparently she’d been more unsettled by Yuki’s words earlier than Yokozawa had. The way she’d laughed off the idea must have been a bluff.
“Really? When Yuki-chan asked me if she was gonna be my mom, I thought maybe…”
Yuki could be a bit mature at times; he’d heard she had an older sister in high school, so perhaps that was why.
“I don’t think you need to worry about that. You’re the person your father cares about most.”
“But—don’t you think he might fall in love with someone? He loves Mama, but she’s not here with us anymore, so…”
“………” Her words were quite awkward to take in…for someone who was secretly sleeping with her father. And some day, they’d eventually have to tell her about their relationship—but until that day came, he’d have to keep lying to her.
“Even at that wedding we went to a while back—a lot of the ladies there said I needed a new mom. I don’t really want one, but I’m not sure about how dad feels…”
“Hiyo…” Children thought a lot more deeply about things than adults gave them credit for—worried about more things, too. Everyone experienced the same things in life as children—so why did they tend to forget about it with age? “If it bothers you so much, why not ask your dad about it?”
“Why not? If I were him, I’d want you to tell me if you were worried about something like this.”
“You don’t…think it’ll just cause him trouble?”
Yokozawa’s chest clenched at her bravery, worried more about causing problems for Kirishima than about her own feelings. “You not talking to him will cause him more trouble, so if you really want to know something, I’m sure he’ll give you a serious response.”
“………” She fell silent at his suggestion. There was always the option of relating this conversation to Kirishima later in secret and having the man do some subtle follow-up of his own—but given how worked up she obviously was over this issue, she probably wouldn’t be completely reassured until she’d confirmed with Kirishima herself. If she absolutely couldn’t bring herself to discuss it, Yokozawa would have to take care of things himself, but he had faith she’d be able to pull it off on her own.
As he sat there, watching over Hiyori deep in thought, there came a soft knocking on the window. “Sorry to have kept you waiting.” Kirishima pulled open the door on the opposite side, ducking his head in to check on them.
“How’s the stomach?”
“It doesn’t hurt like it did before. I started feeling better when Oniichan carried me here.”
An expression of relief washed over his face. “I see—that’s great. Maybe his back acted like a hot pad?” His position had demanded he see off Oosaki, but that didn’t mean he hadn’t been worried about his daughter’s condition.
“I’m sorry, Dad. I know that lady wanted us to go out to eat together…”
“What’re you talking about? We can go out to eat any time; your body’s way more important. Don’t worry about it.” He laughed off her apology lightly, but her expression remained sullen, and seeing the way she kept wavering between trying to say something before losing her nerve, Kirishima realized what the issue was. “…Feel free to tell me I’m wrong if I am, but…did you not want her to come with us, and that’s why your stomach started hurting?”
“It…it wasn’t that I didn’t like her, just…”
“It’s my fault for not being able to keep my promise after saying we’d come see the exhibit together. I’m really sorry. You came here all excited, and I ruined the whole day.”
“No way! It’s your job, so it’s not like you could help it.”
“But today’s not a work day. I really should have put you first, so I’m sorry I wasn’t more thoughtful.”
“……” Hiyori’s eyes began to water as Kirishima gently massaged her head, testament to just how much she’d been holding back.
“Hiyo…?” Kirishima seemed thrown by his daughter’s teary eyes.
She finally found the courage to confess her worries, blurting out, “Hey, Dad? That lady’s not gonna be my new mom, is she?”
Kirishima’s display of shock at the question, completely out of left field, put Yokozawa’s to shame. “Why would you ask that all of a sudden? Of course not! No way, no how!”
“Really?” she asked, expression fraught with worry.
“Absolutely not—never!” At this complete and utter negation, Hiyori’s expression at long last melted into one of relief. As expected, in the end, hearing the words from Kirishima had done the trick. “Do you want a new mother?”
“I guess if you wanted one…” she returned after a moment’s consideration, her voice hesitant and soft. It was very Hiyori of her to still be trying to affect a stiff upper lip, even now.
Kirishima simply laughed off the suggestion, though. “How ridiculous! I’ve got you and Yokozawa and Sorata—and that’s all I need. Didn’t I tell you that before? I assumed you felt the same—but was I wrong?”
“No, you’re not wrong.” A grin blossomed on her features at his reassurance, and while Yokozawa experienced a moment’s panic hearing his name so casually mixed in with the rest, he was relieved to see that Hiyori hadn’t been bothered by it.
But if he let Kirishima keep mouthing off like that, things were bound to turn ugly, so he decided to suggest they head back home, cutting off further discussion. “Let’s get going—Sorata’s waiting on us, after all.”
“If you’re feeling better, want to buy some cake to take back on the way?” Perhaps Kirishima was hoping to ease the guilt of having worried his daughter by spoiling her some.
Still—even if she felt better now, she had been feeling sickly before. “Don’t you think we should give up on that for today?”
“Pudding’s good for the digestion, isn’t it? How about some of that?”
“…If it’s pudding, I’d rather have the pudding Oniichan makes.”
Yokozawa’s lips quirked up at the corners in response to Hiyori’s request as Kirishima sought her opinion. She really needed to make these childish ‘demands’ more often; that was her right as a kid.
“All right; I’ll make up a batch as soon as we get home. Wanna have your old man pitch in today?”
“Eh? Are you sure that’s all right?”
“I’m sure even someone as clumsy as him can’t mess up mixing milk and eggs together. If we make sure to teach him the proper method, he could even make it for you when I’m not around.”
“You’re sure I’ll be fine?”
“We’ll practice in order to make it fine.” Now was the perfect time to start making plans to put a little space between himself and the pair, after all. Hiyori had reacted particularly strongly to the earlier mention of a ‘mother’ in her conversation with Yuki—and that degree of resistance showed just how sensitive she was to the notion. Seeing all of those families visiting the exhibit together certainly hadn’t helped improve her mood, either. She was still at an age where she wanted to be doted upon—so it was hardly strange for her to want a mother.
If Kirishima ever came across a woman of a similar type to Hiyori’s mother, he might actually consider remarrying. With a woman like that, Hiyori wouldn’t feel such a strong aversion—she’d probably be able to open up to her more easily, in fact. Then she might finally get the loving attention she wanted.
He had no reassurance that his days spent with the Kirishimas would continue indefinitely. They might end some day—and they might not. No one could predict the future. But while he couldn’t deny that he hoped such a day would never come, if he started preparing for that day, he might just make it out in one piece.
He didn’t want to go out kicking and screaming pathetically like last time. While he maintained that he’d done what he did out of a genuine desire to see the other person happy, he knew he’d only wound up hurting them.
Having his heart broken before his very eyes had done some damage, but he’d also been struck by the acceptance that he’d never had a chance in the first place, and that all of his efforts had been for nothing. He never wanted to go through that again.
All he wanted was for the people he cared for to be happy. Seeing them with smiles on their faces, he’d learned, was his own brand of happiness. If he could learn to properly place space between them like this, he’d eventually be able to draw out ideal boundaries.
“Oi, Yokozawa. You sure you’re feeling okay yourself?”
At some point, Kirishima had slipped into the driver’s seat and was peering at him in the back seat with a worried expression. “You were spacing out.”
It seemed he’d been so lost in thought, he hadn’t realized he was being spoken to. Hiyori was staring up at him as well with an anxious expression.
“Sorry, just drifted off for a bit.” If Kirishima learned what he’d been thinking just now, he’d no doubt reprimand him for thinking stupid thoughts.
“Oniichan, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I think I’m just hungry myself,” he bluffed with a wry grin.
“That settles it—let’s get something to eat before going home. Japanese food should be easy on the stomach. You two settle in for a nap back there, and let me know if you start feeling bad.”
“………” He felt pathetic, but buckled his seatbelt beside Hiyori without further comment.
To be continued…